Published: Saturday 03 March, 2018

OFW in Freezer Joanna Demafelis Funeral Attended by 3,000 Sympathizers

Joanna Daniela Demafelis was laid to rest in her hometown in Iloilo Saturday. More than 3,000 attended the funeral as family, friends and sympathizers renewed their call for justice for Joanna Demafelis, the OFW who was found stuffed inside a freezer in Kuwait last month.

Joanna Demafelis funeral

The final resting place of OFW Joanna Demafelis. (ABS CBN News image)

Wearing white t-shirts with the words ‘Justice for Joanna Demafelis’, family and friends bade goodbye to Joanna. The funeral attracted a lot of attention not only in Iloilo. Aside from the thousands who joined the funeral procession to church and to Demafelis’ final resting place at the Virgin Island Cemetery in Sara, thousands more watched online and on television. 

The Duterte government has assured the Demafelis family that it will exert all means to get justice for the murdered OFW. President Rodrigo Duterte himself conveyed this message to Joanna’s family when he visited the wake earlier this week.

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Reports from Syria said the suspects in the OFW’s death are now in custody. Her employers, Nader Essam Assaf and his wife, Mona Hassoun, were apprehended separately several days ago through the initiative of Interpol and the Kuwait government. Nader Essam Assaf has since been repatriated to Lebanon since he is Lebanese. It is unclear at this time if charges have already been filed against the two.

Joanna Demafelis’ gruesome death was the final straw for the Duterte administration as it banned the deployment of new OFWs to the Guld state following several reports of abuses on Filipino workers.